Well, after a rough past couple of nights dropping 2 ugly games (in their own way) against the despised Yankees, it’s time to move on O’s fans. To Cleveland. That won’t be easy though. The Indians are 8-4 and tied for first place in the AL Central with Kansas City. They won 8 in a row and then lost 2 to the Angels, so luckily they won’t be heading home with a hot streak going. As we all know, the O’s won’t be heading to Progressive Field with a hot streak either, losing their past 4 games. Let’s have a look at what the O’s will be facing.
Friday: Zach Britton vs. Justin Masterson
-Everyone is surprised, and extremely excited, about Britton’s awesome 2-0 start to the season. He has a minuscule 0.66 ERA with only 7 hits, 1 run, and 8 strikeouts. He is just what the O’s need to get back into it and get a win.
-Justin Masterson has stepped up to be the Indians ace. He’s also 2-0 on the season with a 1.35 ERA, 2 runs, 11 hits, and 9 strikeouts. However, since he’s been with the Indians (middle of 2009) he’s gone 0-3 against the O’s with a 7.88 ERA. So, that’s a good sign. This game will definitely be all about the pitching.
Saturday: Jeremy Guthrie vs. Josh Tomlin
-Guthrie takes on his former team and is 1-1 on the season with a tiny ERA of 0.64. He’s given up 7 hits, 1 run, and has struck out 7. He’s also had 2 long outings going 8 innings his first and 6 his second.
-Tomlin is 2-0 so far this season, but with a 2.63 ERA, giving up 4 runs on 6 hits with 7 strikeouts.
-Guthrie’s last outing resulted in a loss even though he pitched a great game because the offense couldn’t back him up. The O’s bats better wake up (it seems like they’re doing that) so that Guthrie can get a win if he pitches another gem.
Sunday: Brad Bergesen vs. Mitch Talbot
-Bergesen was called up Wednesday night and got some action as a relief pitcher against the Yankees. He looked great, pitching consecutive 1-2-3 innings. He’s 0-1 though with a 3.18 ERA with 4 runs off of 5 hits and 4 strikeouts. This is his chance to come back and show he can be a starter at the major league level.
-Talbot is 1-0 this season with a 1.46 ERA and 2 runs on 10 hits and 11 strikeouts. Those are some pretty good stats so Bergesen is going to have to be really tough.
Who’s Hot: Orioles
Although they’ve dropped 4 in a row, Nick Markakis is hitting .268 (needs to be much higher) with a 2-run home run last night against the Yankees as well as 3 RBIs.
Brian Roberts is also leading the team with 3 home runs and 10 RBIs.
Who’s Hot: Indians
Asdrubal Cabrera – He’s hit safely in five out of his last six games. Throughout that span he has his .363 (8 for 21), driven in four and scored five. He’s rebounded nicely from forearm surgery last year and appears to be completely healthy. He has four homers this year, already surpassing his total of three last season.
Who’s Cold: Orioles
Derrek Lee, although he’s been playing great defensively at first, his bat is pretty much non-existent. He’s only hitting .195. Ew.
Adam Jones is also only hitting .195 and he needs to stop swinging at everything.
Who’s Cold: Indians
Carlos Santana – He’s 0 for 18 in his last five games and hasn’t had a hit since the Indians 12 run outburst last Friday night against the Mariners.
J.J. Hardy is on the 15-day DL still as well as Brian Matusz and Justin Duchscherer. I’m excited to see what he can do once he gets himself together.
Luckily, besides that, everyone is healthy.
Grady Sizemore is close to rejoining the Indians and ending his rehab process following microfracture surgery on his left knee, but the club is still not ready to say when he will be back. Sizemore smacked a home run for Triple-A Columbus on Thursday.
Infielder Jason Donald (left hand) continued his Minor League rehab assignment with Triple-A Columbus and went 0-for-4. Donald had been playing with Double-A Akron.
Right-hander Frank Hermann was optioned to Triple-A Columbus on Thursday in preparation for Joe Smith’s return from the 15-day disabled list. Smith had been nursing a strained upper abdominal muscle and is expected to be activated before Friday’s game
Thanks to Jon Rudder over at Deep Left Field for his help in collaborating with me on this series preview.
P.S. Happy Jackie Robinson Day!